Information for Faculty and Administrators


We welcome all questions regarding the hosting and employment of foreign nationals. We are also available to participate in the candidate interview process to assess sponsorship needs before job offers are issued. IPSO serves the faculty and administration of Augusta University, offering assistance and guidance with a mind towards customer service, compliance and fiscal responsibility. To begin the hosting or sponsorship of an international scholar, please submit the Immigration Consultation Request for an initial assessment of your case. 

Due to changes in the regulations/laws and/or due to backlogs within a particular government agency, estimated processing times are subject to change without notice. IPSO cannot control delays of this nature.


INFORMATION ABOUT Hosting or Hiring:

Important Information on Sponsorship and Maintenance of Immigration Status 

Immigration status is a federally-derived benefit involving the discretionary authority of the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Department of Labor. Issuance of documents and their corresponding privileges are contingent upon attestations made by IPSO based on information provided by both applicants and their sponsoring administrators and faculty. Sponsored employees are only authorized for employment activity as it has been represented to the U.S. government.  Failure to completely and accurately represent the activities and employment circumstances of sponsored employees can result in government fines and the loss of sponsorship privileges for Augusta University. Such penalties could result in the termination of hundreds of Augusta University employees vital to the mission and goals of our institution.

In recent years, IPSO has seen a marked increase in government auditing and inspection visits at employers nationwide to verify claims made in the sponsorship process. This includes onsite inspections at Augusta University by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State. During these visits, inspectors verify that sponsored employees job conditions, duties, titles and salaries match those as reported to the government during the sponsorship process. Any discrepancy can result in disciplinary action as described in the preceding paragraph. 

COMPLIANCE IS EVERYONE'S RESPONSIBILITY

IPSO is an administrative unit tasked to facilitate the employment of international personnel to forward organizational goals. Our mission is to support Augusta University departments and faculty in attracting and retaining high-caliber international scholars and students in a timely and cost-effective manner.

An equally important mission of IPSO is maintaining compliance with all relevant federal law and regulations. Immigration and employment laws and regulations are neither arbitrary nor discretionary. These laws are in place to protect national security, comply with international treaties and protect U.S. workers. 

Sponsoring departments play an active and vital role in compliance. Any request for the sponsorship of international employees requires departments to accurately describe all employment conditions and provide a signature confirming the veracity of all statements. Sponsored employees are limited by law to these actions for the duration of their sponsored employment. If a department wishes to request a change to an employee’s employment conditions, they may submit a Notification of Change of Duties form to IPSO. IPSO will review all requests as soon as possible and advise the department on the timeline for change and any issues with the proposed changes.

IPSO SERVES AUGUSTA UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS

IPSO’s mission is to support Augusta University departments and faculty in attracting and retaining high-caliber international scholars and students in a timely and cost-effective manner. Towards this end, IPSO carefully evaluates each immigration case on an individual basis with an eye toward the department’s bottom line, reasonable time frames and compliance. Oftentimes, international applicants have incomplete or erroneous information on their immigration status options. We encourage department administrators and faculty to call upon us as subject matter experts to offer unbiased conservative advice on the status options that best suit the needs of the department.

RECRUITMENT AND HIRING OF EMPLOYEES

Because the recruitment and hiring of international employees involves processes not found in the recruitment and hiring of U.S. citizens, it is even more important to follow standard Augusta University hiring practices and protocol. Failure to do so can further complicate or even jeopardize international hires. For information and resources on Augusta University hiring practices and procedures, contact Carolyn Burns, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition & Workforce Development.

PROCESSING TIMELINES

Faculty and administrators are reminded that every international applicant’s immigration circumstance is unique and seemingly minor details can impact immigration options and the time needed to secure employment eligibility. Attaining employment eligibility for international applicants often involves multiple government agencies and can take weeks to months to complete. While some processes may be expedited for a fee ($1,225), others may not, and in most cases there is little or no recourse available to hasten the issuance of documents. 

To avoid delays in employment and minimize the likelihood of immigration issues, it is best to request IPSO assistance as early as possible in the recruiting process.  Adequate time allows IPSO to present more immigration options to sponsoring departments, minimizing financial burden and ensuring complete compliance with federal regulations.

GOVERNMENT DELAYS

Delays in government processing are an unfortunate reality in immigration. Over the past several years, IPSO has seen delays lasting several weeks due to government shutdown and Department of Labor issues. IPSO makes every effort to give advance notice to departments about government delays and employment implications, but situations can arise where such circumstances can require the temporary delay or termination of sponsored employees.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESSING OF VISAS

Processing times for nonimmigrant visas applied for at U.S. embassies and consulates vary widely. Some visas are processed in a few days, while others may take several weeks. Occasionally, a case will be selected for “administrative processing.” This usually indicates that a secondary background check is being performed on the applicant. This process takes several weeks to several months. Given national security concerns, IPSO will not take any steps to request expediting such cases until at least 60 days has passed since notification of processing.

A WORD ON URGENT CASES

International and Postdoctoral Services Office personnel understand that, on occasion, extreme circumstances may require processing of cases in shorter than normal time frames. IPSO makes every effort to accommodate these requests. Attending to such requests may result in the delay of other cases and hampers the compliance efforts of the office. Faculty and administrators need to be cognizant of the limitations of processes involving federal agencies. All IPSO forms have a minimum time frame for processing requests. IPSO reserves the right to deny requests which call for processing of cases in less than the standard times.